Amy Artisan

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Month: February 2007

Ice, Ice…

…Baby…

(Sorry, couldn’t help myself – as soon as I thought of “ice, ice” for this title ‘that song’ from my high school days became an earworm…)

As this week progressed with work I really didn’t know what I would blog about next. I was on the road again and it was a milestone week that meant late nights at the office – I think on average I wasn’t back to the hotel before 8:00 each evening. And by that point in the day/evening I was too tired to even do dishcloth knitting. I got home Friday evening and my hands were ready to knit. I looked through my current projects & picked up “gasp” the sock that has been in progress since last fall – a continued attempt at “Socks Soar…” that started with a class last May and continued with the purchase of Cat’s book and Koigu at Stitches Midwest.

Over Thanksgiving I had knit the leg and was now ready to start the fun parts. On Friday evening I knit the heel flap and then read the instructions for turning the heel and picking up the gusset stitches – the instructions just weren’t clicking with me so I planned to stop into Arcadia Knitting on Saturday for a bit of help.

On Saturday I had a full list of errands planned. The plans quickly got changed when my mechanic told me that in addition to the scheduled oil change I needed another 3-4 hours worth of work done – with all of the long distance driving that I am doing these days it was a “no brainer” to have the additional work done. I had a bag filled with a couple of books, a Sodoku book and some knitting – a few dishcloths and the “on hold sock.” After a while I picked up the sock & book and decided to give the instructions a try – the first attempt at turning the heel didn’t work so I ripped it back out and tried again – this time it worked & so I kept going. By the time my car was ready I had turned the heel, picked up the gusset stitches, finished the gusset and was about 1/3 of the way done with the foot. As I started each new section of the sock I think I was smiling just a bit more. Knitting for several hours in the waiting area of the mechanic’s shop generated several interesting conversations – the woman who learned to knit (scarves only) a couple years ago when trying to quit smoking, the retired gentleman who remembers going to a football game with his mother who knit through the entire game (including a 98 yard kick-off return) and the store manager who remembered his mother finding the time to make sweaters for all 5 kids while he was growing up.

The knitting continued while waiting for a car wash. After all the errands were done I came home and kept going on the sock. The winter storm started here in Chicago (ice #1) and the sound of the ice hitting the window and the color of the sock yarn (ice #2) inspired the title for this entry.

By last night I had almost completed the foot. By the time I finished up The Illusionist today I was ready to graft the toe. Screech! That’s were the instructions in the book were a bit lacking – to the effect of “if you need help with grafting check out one of the reference books in the appendix.” A quick visit to knittinghelp.com provided me with the tutorial that I needed – in no time I had kitchenered the toe & wove in the ends.

Sock Details

Yay – a sock! I quickly ran outside to take pictures of the sock in the ice/snow (and rain).

Icy Socks

I’ll be casting on for the 2nd sock this evening & can’t wait to wear the full pair.

Soaring Sock Progress

The details:
Pattern: Simple Sock in Three Sizes from “Socks Soar…” – I knit the ladies size. Koigu #P905 on Addi Turbos size 2, 24″ long

When I picked up this yarn last summer the colors reminded of tropical waters – in the winter the colors now seem icy, and the blue/white is perfect for Project Spectrum.

Four years ago this month I took my first sock class (on double point needles) where I finished a sock and just barely started (but never finished) the 2nd sock from that project. Last spring I had hoped that socks would be my travel project for all of the time in Chattanooga. As I’ve mentioned, that didn’t happen. With my renewed interest in knitting in the past year I was frustrated that socks just didn’t seem to be in my project list – even though I had lots of pretty sock yarn and wanted to knit socks with it. Since being back from Chattanooga I have been trying new things with my knitting – different stiches with my so called scarf, the afterthought thumb with my Fetching pairs, and short rows with my Calorimetry. The time had come to conquer socks. With as crazy as the work week was for me I’m still in awe of the fact that I was able to wrap my head around the sock this weekend and get this finished!

OK, enough reflecting on knitting – time to wind the remaining skein and cast on for #2! Well, maybe one more bit of knit wit…

Knit Wit!

Whiplash

What do you think of when you hear the word Whiplash? Your neck? Sometimes you feel like you are being tossed in so many directions that you can barely keep your head on straight. I’m experiencing a bit of that these days.

Whiplash also results from car crashes – especially when you are rear ended. Three weeks ago my sister experienced that firsthand. Thankfully she is alright. As is often the case, her neck is a bit sore these days as she is on the mend. When I learned of her accident I already had a scarf on the needles for her – I immediately thought that I would name the scarf Whiplash – a little something nice to comfort her neck. This was the secret knit that I mentioned in January. Now that it has been received in Georgia I can reveal the project – not only the “boring” shots but also the scarf in action.

Blue Bejeweled

The Details:
Another Bejeweled scarf. This time I used Patons SWS yarn in Natural Blue on size 13 needles. This pattern was just as fun to knit this time and with the bigger yarn & needles it created a completely different scarf.

Bejeweled Rebecca

The scarf looks great with her new peacoat!

This pattern is definitely a favorite of mine now – I can see knitting it with lots of different yarns & having such different results each time.

Snowy Sedum

Work had me in Wisconsin this week so I missed the big snowstorm that came through Chicago. (Although, I had enough of a snowy drive en route to WI on Monday morning.) When I came home last night I was so thankful that my basement neighbor had shoveled the snow in front of my garage so I was able to get in without having to dig in. A batch of brownies were whipped up this morning to say thanks. This afternoon I took a few pictures of some snow scenes in the neighborhood. My favorite picture is of the “leftover” sedum in my neglected flowerbed poking through the snow.

Not much knitting to report – although Blanket of Hope squares are the perfect simple knitting for after these busy work days!

Cover Your Head

With all of the bitter cold weather recently, I am taking the adage of “cover your head” to heart whenever I’m outside and so my Chattanooga cap is getting a lot of wear (and holding up great). So I thought it would be fun to make Calorimetry for something different. As I saw others blog about it there were warnings of knitting off gauge & it being too big. I thought I’d just “go for it” because I have a hard time finding hats for this big head. So last Sunday I knit the whole thing & when it was off the needles it was obvious that it would be way too big for even me to wear. So I promptly pulled it apart & wound the yarn back into a ball. For this, the second time is the charm. What a fun head warmer! I finished this up on Friday evening & it kept my head warm through all of the errands and outings on Saturday.

Calorimetry

The Details:
Calorimetry in Pearl Malabrigo. Size 8 needles (super long ones from my Grandma’s stash). The button is a glittery silver star that I had picked up over the summer & added to the stash for baby bibs. It’s a bit of fun on the grey knit. My pattern modifications: cast on 104 stitches, I did row 5 14 times (instead of 16 in the pattern). This was my first short row project – I still need to work on the skill but it’s nice to have a new skill in the knit kit.

This is my second Malabrigo knit & I think this yarn is rapidly becoming a favorite. The color is great – of course a gray day is not optimal for capturing it’s true color. Upon first glance it is gray and white but there is a purple hue to it as well.

Crochet Scarf

On Saturday I crocheted a few flowers to add to my scarf. I enjoyed this crochet class – it was fun to learn a new skill, one that I’ve wanted to learn for quite a while. Now when I see a knit project that involves a bit of crochet finishing I won’t shy away from it because “I don’t now how to do that.” I don’t have grand plans for crochet projects now; however, I plan to do a bit of crochet in each Project Spectrum 2.0 color in the coming months.

This past week I was wondering what my next project would be. I now know what it will be – a “crazy square” (or 2) for A Blanket of Hope.
Blanket of Hope
Sonya‘s husband has been recently diagnosed with lymphoma. As they are just starting to learn the details and treatment options, Rebekah is pulling together a Blanket of Hope to provide comfort and warmth. If you have some spare yarn (I’m pretty sure that’s a rhetorical question) & a bit of spare time you can knit whatever size wool or woolblend square/rectangle/triangle to be included in this crazy quilt.

A couple of other things that have been rattling around my head…

Another “helping others” event in blogland that I want to highlight is Debby’s husband who is participating in a 3 day bike ride for the Chron’s and Colitis Foundation. Debby’s announcement about the ride is great – the spokescat Charlie is too much.

Speaking of Project Spectrum 2.0 – Have you seen this?
Color in Motion
Check out this color education. Learn a bit more about the colors we see in our everyday world.

P.S. For those of you who have tagged me for the “6 Weird Things” – here is my “5 Quirky” posting from last year.

Third Time’s a Charm

As I mentioned in my last post, I had hoped to start February with a blue finished object; however, the hotel knitting last week just wasn’t happening. On Monday I cast on…knit round & round, cabled, knit round & round and then discovered a problem with the first cable – so I ripped it all out. On Tuesday I tried again…cast on, knit round & round, cable, knit round & round and then discovered a problem – so I ripped it all out, again. Fast forward to last Friday evening – I cast on, knit round & round, cabled, etc. and by the end of the evening Blue Fetching #1 was complete. I did discover one “issue” with it but it was something I could incorporate into the pair. Saturday morning I cast on for #2 and later in the evening was finished. Ever since I finished Grandma’s pair I was wanting to make a pair for me and with the deep freeze that has descended it was a the right time to make this pair. They came in handy (oops, no pun intended) this week with all of the drive time to/from WI they were the perfect thing to keep my hands warm. (And they are on my hands now as I type this entry.)

Fetching

The Details:
Fetching in Dream in Color in Blue Lagoon. This is a “new to me” yarn and I love how the color subtleties knit up. My extra “design feature” the palms of both mitts don’t have the third cable.

Calorimetry

Next on the needles is Calorimetry from Knitty. I knit it up on Sunday but encountered sizing issues and had to rip it all out – so will finish up version 2 this weekend. I had hoped to complete it this week as my hotel knitting; however, for the second week in a row I had knitting error problems with Monday night knitting. I think going forward I shouldn’t plan to accomplish any real knitting on Mondays when I travel – I’m just too tired at the end of that day.

Shells on the scarf

This weekend is my final crochet class. Last weekend I added the shell border to the edge and will learn to make flowers on Saturday. Now I’m ready for warmer weather so I can wear my new spring scarf.

As I finish up these projects I’m wondering what I’ll cast on for next. So much yarn, so many possibilities! Stay tuned…

Bring on the Color!

Project Spectrum 2.0 has begun!

The focus for February and March is the blue/gray/white spectrum – quite fitting for these winter days! Recent car time to/from the client in WI has been filled with these colors – blues and grays in the sky and the white of the snow covering everything. In addition to knit projects I’m looking forward to some non-knit projects – including some that I had hoped to accomplish last year during the first Project Spectrum.
Blue Knitting
I have a blue knit planned for the next couple of days. I started this knit twice this week while traveling for work (and actually thought I would start the month with a blue FO)…but a couple of intense work days meant that I had few brain cells left for knitting & both evenings I messed up the knit & had to rip it out. Hopefully I will reveal the finished project soon!

January Knits
Looking back on January I managed to knit quite a few colors from the spectrum – this stack of knit includes 12 dishcloths, my Bejeweled Blue Hostas Scarf, the secret knit and the still unfelted tote. The simple knitting has been great travel knitting.

Crocheted Scarf Progress
The crochet class is going well & I have made great progress on my scarf. As for the sore hand/arm when crocheting I have found that these hand exercises are helping & I plan to incorporate them into the daily routine. This multi-colored cotton yarn is perfect for a spring scarf!

It looks like we will be in “deep winter weather” mode this weekend – just perfect for staying in and crafting – stay tuned for project reveals…

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